Effects on New Zealand and the world
The 1981 Springbok tour terrorised New Zealand for fifty-six days, polarising a nation and signified a change in social behaviour in the country. However the tour continued to affect New Zealand long after the final game in Eden Park as scenes in New Zealand were televised internationally, exposing the world to what New Zealand was like during this fifty-six day period. Internally, the tour affected New Zealand on social, economic and political levels.
The 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand had varying social, political and economic effects of New Zealand and internationally, ultimately affecting the lives of New Zealanders significantly. The global televisation of a divided country significantly hurt the growing nation of New Zealand’s image. Protest demonstrations overshadowed televised games, and in one stage at Hamilton cancelled the game before it had started, rendering the broadcast just coverage on the protest action. The tour shed much light on the issues that were already present, as after the tour had ended Maori activists re-emerged demanding the Treaty of Waitangi be properly honoured. Issues such as Gay liberation and nuclear free protest emerged giving activists a new cause to pick up. The use of the tour for a political gain may have worked for Muldoon after being re-elected on the back of a controversial second term, but in the 1984 election public opinion had significantly changed as Muldoon was booted out of the hot seat and in came David Lange, who was a key figure behind the change in New Zealand. And so marked a change in New Zealand society, a nation still growing had made its impression on the world with the show that was the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand. Key figures and groups emerged as a result of the conflict and put New Zealand on the map, although some will argue, not for the right reasons.